High Court Judge rejects appeal over divorce settlement

A man has lost his fight to keep hold of shares previously allocated to his ex-wife by a divorce court.

In the case of B v B, a family court Judge made an order that the woman should receive 40 per cent of her ex-husband’s shares. These would be paid in lump sums once the investment had matured.

The man had challenged the lengthy legal order, set out in May last year. Instead he wanted to pay his former partner a single lump sum of £25,000, which would have been financed by the sale of the couple’s former matrimonial homes. A further £175,000 would be paid in relation to other share holdings, although he argued that the shares themselves should remain his.

The ex-wife had rejected this offer, believing that she could be entitled to a far greater amount once the shares had matured.

Court had heard that the couple had married in 1998 and had three children together, before separating 14 years later.

The shares at the centre of the dispute had been acquired by the husband through his employer and, as he was at pains to point out, they had been purchased after the couple had gone their separate ways.

But Mr Justice Bodey, sitting at the High Court, was unswayed by the man’s arguments and agreed with the earlier ruling that the wife should receive a proportion of the shares’ value.

He cited previous comments by Mr Justice Coleridge, now retired from the High Court, who argued that assets that came into existence after the date of separation could not be excluded from a settlement.